Monday, 27 April 2020

ER Doctors speak out with some real data

ADDED (28 April): Wow! YouTube have cancelled it! I don’t know why. When I first watched it the vid had over 2 million views. Next time I watched it (it’s somewhat laden with figures) it had 4 million views. So I guess you could say, viral. There were about 80k upvotes and 5k downvotes. I posted a comment: “why would people downvote this? I don’t get it” and got into some polite discussion with several about the rate of infections. The down-voters saying that the figures Dr Erickson, testing for infections, used were not random and so could not be extrapolated, as he had done to get the low morbidity figures. And that’s true.
But I thought even if he was out tenfold we would have a much lower morbidity rate than the crude CFR figure if 6.95%. In any case surely having two experienced ER surgeons giving us their views of this new disease from the frontline is worth having. As the doctors said, they are just following the science.
But no. YouTube have banned them. I think because they committed a cardinal sin. Remember when we thought it was “like the flu”. Then we were told “it’s not like the flu at all”. But now, these doctors are saying — on the basis of their experience and their data — “ it’s just like the flu”. How very dare they?    likely because they violated new YouTube rules which specifically prohibit posts that go against WHO guidelines. Which these doctors did. Which is also ironic. Because if you’d said in early a January: a.there’s human to human infections, b. we should limit travel and c.we should all wear masks, you would have been banned by YouTube because at the time these were against WHO recommendations. [AMENDED: 30 April 2020]
ADDED: An outline of their briefing and the vid is still available here. And a mea corrigendum: They are doctors, but no longer working at ER. They own a testing company. Does this make their briefing any less credible? I don’t know, but not necessarily. They presumably don’t have any particular agenda aside from doing more testing. Which we all want anyway.
Back to my original post yesterday:
Some things confirmed here:
1. Hospitals are EMPTY. That was noted in a BBC report the other night for the UK, and now here by these two experienced ER doctors in California. Empty ER wards, doctors and nurses on furlough. Because people are scared to come in to hospitals, and delaying elective surgery. This is putting stress on hospitals’ income.
Given that “Save the NHS” and “flatten the curve” to save the health systems, were the main reasons for lockdowns, now that they’re EMPTY, isn’t it time to relax?
2.  America has done heaps of testing, and the figures are around 10-20% of the whole population are infected. That makes the Case Fatality Rates MUCH lower than predicted by models. 0.03% say these doctors. As Dr Erickson repeats: “Many cases, few deaths”.
3. These doctors are seeing spikes in domestic violence, alcoholism, suicide, as a direct result of lockdowns. This is a COST, we can’t ignore. They don’t give figures but there are plenty of other reports.
4. Doctors are being “pressured” to write “Covid-19” in the cause of death, even if the patient had a co-morbidity, which was the cause of death. No evidence presented, though I have read of similar elsewhere.
5.  Quarantine: should be of sick people, not healthy. That’s a good point. But doesn’t mention cordon sanitaire concept.
6. 95% of people with the virus are fine. Of the 5%, 95% of them are over 80 with other diseases. If you’re under 80 with no other disease, your chances of dieing if you catch it are 0.25%.
7.  You’re way safer outdoors than indoors. All infections these doctors had treated were contracted indoors.
8. They say ER doctors around the country agree with their assessment. Though they have and I’ve seen no evidence of this. 

Which is: it’s time to ease the lockdowns. As I’ve been saying for a while now. And also, I think I’ve come full circle on this Covid-19 business. First I thought it was panic in the making. Then I thought, OK there’s a real difference from the Flu, and stopped saying “it’s just like the flu”. But these doctors, with over 40 years experience in ER, say “it’s just like the flu”. So, I’m back to thinking we’re panicking overmuch.
ADDED: Dr Jay Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at Stanford, says we don’t know what the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is -- because we don’t know the denominator, the bottom line figure of the number of infections in our society -- but his guess is 0.01%, which is even lower than the 0.03% these doctors guess. HERE.
Also: “It’s not economy vs lives. It’s lives vs lives”. Because the lockdowns cost lives too.
ADDED: From the intro where I first saw this vid:


It is perhaps unfortunate that bureaucrat doctors and academic doctors have dominated public discussion of the Wuhan virus. What some would call real doctors–those who actually treat patients–have been little heard. Two emergency room physicians from California decided to do something about that. The called what looks like a press conference before local reporters to discuss their experiences and their interpretation of the worldwide COVID data. 
I don’t know what local coverage, if any, resulted; the reporters’ reactions were mostly along the lines of “How can you possibly disagree with Dr. Fauci?” But two videos covering the doctors’ presentation were uploaded to YouTube on April 22, and they have gotten nearly two million views. They are well worth your time: